Note: This article contains spoilers for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Almost three years ago, James Gunn revealed there was a hidden Easter Egg— the biggest one, in fact—somewhere in #GuardiansOfTheGalaxy that no fan had caught. Since that announcement, people have been scrambling to figure out just what the surprise is all about, but despite countless efforts and guesses, no one's solved it yet.
As we scratch our heads in endless speculation, James Gunn has stated he would not reveal GoTG's biggest Easter Egg until Vol. 2 came out, and maybe not even after that.
Well, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is currently in theaters, and a possible answer for this mystery has finally surfaced. Screen Rant released a lengthy yet feasible theory that explains how the sequel may have been key to figuring it out all along. Let's break it down.
Ego's Revelation About Meredith Quill In 'Vol. 2'
In #GuardiansoftheGalaxyVol2, Ego reveals he travelled across the galaxy, fathering children with as many women of as many different alien species as possible to have at least one more Celestial companion.
However, Ego tells Peter the only person he had truly loved was Peter's mother, Meredith Quill. But because his feelings for her would have stopped him from reaching his goal of recreating the universe in his image, on his third visit to Earth, Ego put a tumor in her head. Yes, Ego was responsible for Meredith's cancer and subsequent death. That's a heart-wrenching reveal on its own, but there's much more to it; it ties to a previously discovered Easter Egg in Guardians of the Galaxy.
A Series Of Ominous Messages
In our first adventure with the lovable bunch of a-holes, every time we visited a different location, the place's respective coordinates popped up on screen. Some are real or estimated locations in our fair galaxy (such as Morag: the M31V J00443799+4129236 coordinates belong to the Andromeda Galaxy). But others are completely made up. Turns out, these are, in fact, decipherable messages with a simple A=1, B=2, C=3 system.
That's when the connection to Ego begins to take shape.
When we're introduced to Ronan's Dark Aster ship in the first film, the coordinates are T8IS IS 1301319+31NR518. Deciphering it presents a creepy message:
"This is mom's cancer"
Later on in the film, the Guardians travel to Knowhere, said to be the ancient head of a Celestial, and these coordinates pop up: M3RD17H 1721+121212 24. In this case, it's a bit easier to figure out the name the numbers seem to form; literally, it translates to:
"MEREDITH QULLL X, or Meredith Quill's ex."
Granted, it takes a bit more imagination to get that one figured out. Fortunately, it's not that big a stretch. We finally have that established. Now, it's time to potentially move on to something we've been trying to figure out for so long: That elusive #EasterEgg.
So... What's The Big Easter Egg?
There's one final piece of the puzzle to fit into place. You may remember the opening scene of Guardians of the Galaxy is set in 1988, when we see Meredith Quill die and young #PeterQuill being taken away by Yondu's Ravagers. Turns out, fans always ignored this date when it comes to deciphering the keys. If we translate 1988 into a word, it spells "SHH". That's when the proposed big Easter Egg finally comes in:
- 1988 = "SHH"
Dark Aster's First Appearance:
- T8IS IS 1301319+31NR518 = "This is Mom's Cancer"
- M3RD17H 1721+121212 24 = "Meredith Quill ex"
There's an interesting fact about these three decipherable messages: They can be read in order. So from the very first scene in the film, up to the middle, the phrase comes down to:
"Shh. This is Mom's cancer. Meredith Quill Ex."
Essentially, this cryptic (and frankly, downright terrifying) message was telling us all along that Meredith's Quill's ex-lover, Ego, was the cause of her illness, with a cheeky warning to keep quiet about it. If any director could pull off placing a sequel spoiler right in his first film without us noticing, it's #JamesGunn. But there's one last loose end to tie up:
Ego's Role In That Message
Screen Rant goes on to speculate that the head of the Celestial serving as the base in Knowhere is actually Ego's, or at least one of his many bodies (we learn in the sequel he can create vessels for himself), and that's why the "Meredith Quill's Ex" message was attached to it.
However, they admit there are plot holes to the theory of Knowhere being part of Ego's anatomy. First of all, Ego states he is one of a kind, which we know isn't true; there are other Celestials out there in the MCU (one in particular that destroyed a planet with the Power Stone).
But the explanation behind Knowhere as the presentation for the hidden message, if this theory is accurate, could be much simpler. James Gunn could have placed that message with the introduction of Knowhere simply to tease us with the fact of Ego being a Celestial himself.
Is This Theory Actually Plausible?
Surprisingly, yes. The deciphered messages are a sign that there was clearly some careful planning behind these small details in the movie, and they fit perfectly with the sequel's storyline. In the end, it possibly not much of a theory as it is a discovery of Gunn's most well-hidden puzzle.
Fans have feared that, with so much anticipation regarding the hidden Easter Egg, the reveal would disappoint us. But if this is indeed that hidden surprise, it's a great one. While it doesn't tease anything big for the future of the #MCU, it shows that we got a cool spoiler for a film that, at the time, was three years away.
Now, with that said, we shouldn't take this for granted. While there's a high chance this is the long-lost Easter Egg (mainly due to the fact that we have pretty much gone through every inch of every single frame of the film already), there's a chance it isn't. Hopefully, James Gunn clarifies that for us soon.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is currently in theaters.
Is theory the final 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Easter Egg?
[Source: Screen Rant]